To achieve a better understanding of how D5 dopamine receptors mediate the actions of dopamine in brain, we have developed antibodies specific for the D5 receptor. D5 antibodies reacted with recombinant baculovirus-infected Sf9 cells expressing the D5 receptor but not with the D1 receptor or a variety of other catecholaminergic and muscarinic receptors. Epitope-tagged D5 receptors expressed in mammalian cells were reactive with both D5 antibodies and an epitope-specific probe. A mixture of N-linked glycosylated polypeptides and higher molecular-mass species was detected on immunoblots of membrane fractions of D5-transfected cells and also of primate brain. D5 receptor antibodies intensely labeled pyramidal neurons in the prefrontal cortex, whereas spiny medium-sized neurons and aspiny large interneurons of the caudate nucleus were relatively lightly labeled. Antibodies to the D5 dopamine receptor should prove important in experimentally determining specific roles for the D5 and D1 receptors in cortical processes and diseases.